welcome to "newsline." it's wednesday, june 11th. i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. the captain of a vietnamese fishing vessel is accusing the chinese of more aggression. crews have been facing off for more than a month in disputed waters in the south china sea. now vietnamese newspapers are reporting that a chinese ship rammed a vietnamese fishing boat this time in the gulf of tonkin. the papers quote the captain of the boat as saying the chinese ship charged without warning. he said the chinese sprayed
members of his crew with a water cannon and three of them were hurt. the gulf of tonkin lies off the coast of vietnam and china, but the papers say the ships were more than 500 kilometers from the paracel islands, which are claimed by both countries. a chinese state-run company put up an oil rig there more than a month ago. crews have been locked in standoff ever since. each side has accused the other of ramming their vessels. both sides are trying to drum up support at the united nations. they're trying to explain their positions to other member states. a spokesperson said ban hopes the dispute will be solved peacefully and in accordance with international law. they're ready to mediate if the chinese ask him to. they've written documents outlining their position. they accuse the vietnamese of illegally and forcefully disrupting the operation of the oil rig and they've asked him to
circulate the paper to all member states. delegates from vietnam have submitted documents defending their position three times since last month. chinese leaders have sent out a reminder that they still rule hong kong. activists have been pushing for greater autonomy, but leaders in beijing issued a report to prove they are in control. government leaders released their first white paper on hong kong since the british handover in 1997. since the territory has a high degree of autonomy, but it says some people are confused or lopsided in their understanding of the policy of one country, two systems. the paper says china's national people's congress has the power to override decisions by the hong kong legislature. activists have been pushing for more rights including giving everyone the right to vote. they're threatening to organize widespread protests if the chinese don't go far enough to
assure democratic change. an al qaeda splinter group has seized control of the second largest city in iraq in a show of strength. islamist militants moved into mosul and drove security forces out. the militants launched repeated attacks over the last two days. they targeted the airport, police stations, a prison and the office of the regional governor. they've taken control of most areas. prime minister nuri al maliki says security forces are preparing to take back the city, and he's urged lawmakers to declare a state of emergency. the militants have been fighting in a civil war in nearby syria. they've swept into iraq and inflamed the conflict between sunni and shia muslims. analysts say security is the worst it's been since u.s. troops completed their withdrawal from iraq three years
ago. about 800 people were killed last month alone. ukraine's new president has promised to bring his people peace. in the meantime, he says he wants to keep them safe. petro poroshenko has ordered the creation of a corridor to allow civilians to escape fighting in the east. poroshenko's aides say he's constructed or rather instructed security officials to organize transportation, food and medical services. and he's ordered local officials to find accommodations for anyone who might want to flee. last week russian delegates submitted a draft resolution to the u.n. security council. it called for a cease-fire between pro russian militants and ukrainian government forces and called for the creation of a humanitarian corridor. separatists in a number of eastern cities have been fighting for more autonomy. government troops have been trying to push them out. civilians have been caught in the crossfire.
world bank officials predict the crisis there will weigh down growth globally. ai uchida joins us from the business desk. >> economists agree that the tension between russia and ukraine is expanding well beyond their borders, but that's not the only reason that they've lowered their forecast. they also point to severe winter weather in the u.s. and higher taxes in japan. all this, they say, will slow economic growth this year. back in january, bank officials forecast the world economy would grow 3.2%. now they've revised that to 2.8%. for the u.s., they lowered their growth outlook from 2.8% to 2.1%. for developing nations they downgraded the forecast from 5.3% to 4.8%. they point to the ukrainian crisis. for japan, they also expect slower growth because of the sales tax hike in april. they revised their projection to 1.3%.
bank officials say progress in japan's structural reforms is a key factor in its medium and long-term growth. let's check on markets now. u.s. investors took on tuesday the dow jones industrial average to a narrow fresh high. analysts say investors in tokyo are also upbeat. the nikkei opened slightly higher and regained the key 15,000 level. the benchmark index is now trading higher by a third of a percent. let's turn to currencies. those that track the markets say traders are buying the dollar and selling the yen and the euro. and that's after the yield on u.s. government bonds rose slightly in new york. the return on american debt is now higher than its japanese and eurozone equivalents. some say higher stock prices in tokyo this morning are also driving dealers to sell the dollar and buy the yen. in other markets in the asia pacific region, south korea's kospi is trading low are by just a touch and australia's benchmark index is in negative
territory by more than a tenth of a percent. the people at google want to make better maps with better eyes in the sky. the u.s. internet giant is buying a satellite firm in california. executives say google will purchase skybox imaging for $500 million. they say they can improve their mapping services based on the latest satellite pictures and can contribute to disaster relief activities. skybox owns a small satellite that provides high quality images and videos to businesses. researchers there can also provide services to analyze the data they acquire from the satellite. the company was founded in 2009 and has about 120 employees. its head office is in silicone valley. google isn't the only business using technology to keep an eye on things from on high. u.s. aviation officials have approved flights by commercial drones over land for the first time. they say british oil giant bp
can use unmanned aircraft to monitor its operations in alaska. until now aviation authorities have allowed only the military, firefighters and police forces to use drones. the move is expected to clear the way for cargo delivery firms and moviemakers to put their own drones in the sky. but some people say more drones could pose a threat to privacy and public safety. that's the latest in business for this hour. i'll leave you with another check on markets.
every morning investors turn their attention to asia. the tokyo market leads the way. and markets around the world follow. >> from the decisions that could change the course of an economy. >> to the companies at the forefront of change. >> up to the minute market reports. >> and analysis from specialists from around the world. >> get all the latest business news and insight every day here on "newsline." suspected islamic extremists have kidnapped 20 women in
northeastern nigeria. it's close to the area where boko haram abducted more than 200 school girls in april. a borno state official said an armed group kidnapped the women on thursday. eyewitnesses say the women were forced to enter the group's vehicles at gunpoint. they were then driven away to an unknown location. the abduction happened close to the school where boko haram militants took the students. security authorities suspect they're also responsible for the latest abduction. the nigerian government has deployed the military to crack down on the group and rescue the school girls, but boko haram is increasing its attacks in an attempt to gain control and establish a state based on islamic law. south korean president park guen-hye is turning to a former journalist to bring stability back to her government. she's chosen moon chang-keuk as her new prime minister. park named moon to the post. he is also a university professor. he will succeed the outgoing
prime minister who took responsibility for the government's handling of the ferry disaster. analysts say his appointment is seen as a move to regain public support. moon is a former chief editorial writer at one of south korea's major newspapers. the president's office said moon can probably push the state agenda including the reform of public offices. park also named south korea's ambassador to japan lee byung-kee as head of the national intelligence service. lee has shown eagerness to mend the strained relations between the two nations since his appointment as top envoy to tokyo a year ago. the pakistani military has carried out air strikes on
militants near the afghan border. the strikes are apparent retaliation for the taliban attack on karachi's international airport on monday. military officials say the air raids targeted hideouts for islamic extremists in the tirah valley of the tribal region. they say the assaults killed 25 extremists. the earlier taliban attack forced one of pakistan's main airports to shut down. authorities say seven more bodies were found at the airport on tuesday. they laid -- they say the raid took the lives of 39 people including the attackers. on the same day, armed insurgents attacked a training facility for security guards at the airport. a gunfight erupted with security officers closing the airport once again. the taliban, the pakistani taliban also claimed responsibility for that incident. a japanese man is hoping his country's appetite for noodles can help war-torn minden ow.
he's teaching locals on the philippine island to grow buckwheat. he wants to persuade the rebels to switch from fighting to farming. nhk world's kathleen ocampo has more. >> reporter: it makes up 20% of the population on mindanao. most of the rebels on the island have been struggling for independence for 40 years. they clashed repeatedly with government troops leaving 60,000 people dead. but in march the government in the country's largest rebel group signed a peace deal. the decades-long conflict has left mindanao the poorest region in the philippines. this man wants to change that. he and a friend started growing
buckwheat on a trial basis on a hunch that the grain would grow well there. >> translator: farming serves as the basic foundation of people's lives. i think the area is ideal for growing buckwheat, which needs plenty of rain and sunshine. >> reporter: he secured backing from a japanese company willing to purchase buckwheat from foreign countries at low cost. he has been working on this project in mindanao for seven years. buckwheat in the philippines sells for about twice the price of corn. it has the potential of earning farmers more money. >> translator: our lives have become more stable if there's constant demand for buckwheat. >> reporter: the first challenge facing officials in mindanao is to disarm the muslim rebels. they're said to number as many
as 10,000. the next test is to help them rebuild their lives. on this day, sumikawa visited the village that's home to many rebels. he wanted to convince them they can earn more money by growing buckwheat. >> this land, the soil is very good. you can harvest two times a year. >> reporter: this man is a senior member of a rebel group with 800 fighters. his four sons also belong to the group. fighting for independence has been their top priority. until now, becoming a soldier was only natural. >> translator: i'm exhausted from fighting. from now on we must work to bring a bright future for our children. >> reporter: he plans to start growing buckwheat. he says he wants to build the basis for his new life.
sumikawa's efforts are already bearing fruit. some 15 farmers have started growing buckwheat on a trial basis. this year he hopes to increase the number of growers tenfold with rebel support. a major japanese food processing company is spending its hopes on the buckwheat. exports of mindanao-grown buckwheat to japan are expected to start this year. noodles made from the grain will be sold at convenience stores around the country. >> translator: i hope the buckwheat production here will spread. my dream is to see a peaceful and robust philippines. i'm not sure how long i can keep working, but i'll do all i can. >> reporter: if successful, the
buckwheat project holds a lot of promise. it will enable former fighters to make a decent living and allow the autonomous region to become more self-reliant. kathleen ocampo, nhk world, mindanao. emerging economic powers still struggling with poverty. emboldened citizens still demanding democracy. the threat of violence, the push for peace, the shadow of conflict. get news and insight on south and southeast asia every weekday live from bangkok, only on nhk world "newsline." some residents near the fukushima daiichi nuclear plant have begun to return home as workers decontaminate the area. but a recent survey found radiation levels in some places are still much too high. more than 20,000 people are registered as residents in areas designated as no entry
evacuation zones. it's unlikely they'll be able to return to their homes for several years. environment ministry officials carried out decontamination work in the zones to see you how far they could reduce radiation level. they chose residential areas, farmland, roads and public facilities as sampling spots. workers removed surface soil and washed roads and buildings. and the test results show that average radiation levels decreased by 50 to 70%. but the levels are still more than ten times higher than the government's decontamination standard. officials say it's difficult to completely remove radioactive substances that have penetrated minute crevices on road surfaces and roofs. the results encourage some residents but disappointed others. >> translator: i want the government to decontaminate the area so we can get our lives back. we have no other choice but to
go forward. >> translator: the radiation levels are too high. i don't feel like going back even if the trial decontamination work succeeded in reducing the radiation. >> officials will now consider whether to carry out full scale decontamination in those areas. they'll also consult with evacuees about whether they want to return to their home towns. the government plans to offer financial assistance to residents who want to start new lives elsewhere. the people who run the dubai international airport are hoping to land more passengers. they've undertaken an aggressive strategy to expand their operations and they're betting they're in the right place. nhk world reports. >> reporter: dubai international airport is a transit point for
millions of travelers. >> i left lagos and then went to china through dubai. it was full to the brim. >> dubai is like a center connecting africa and china together. >> reporter: passenger traffic is soaring. with about 6 million travelers a month, dubai is challenging london's heathrow airport as the world's largest airport for international passengers. airport operators now have their sights on world expo, which will be hosted by dubai in 2020. they're spending $7.8 billion u.s. dollars in expansion projects. phase one was unveiled last year with the launch of the world's first concourse dedicated to the airbus a-380, the world's biggest airliner. >> what has been a continuous upward trend of growth.
and we think by the end of this year, early next, we will be the number one airport for international passenger traffic. >> reporter: one of the carriers set to profit from all the construction is dubai's own emirates airlines. since it was founded in 1985, corners of the globe. today it serves more than 140 cities worldwide. last year, the company pulled off a coup by establishing a strategic alliance with australia's qantas airways. for dubai the prize was qantas flights to europe which used to stop in singapore. as a result of the alliance, 65 flights now connect in the uae. emirates has one of the world's
largest fleets of a-380s, built to carry more than 500 people, the superjumbo makes mass air travel a reality. it also attracts a market business with a host of first class features. the airline has recruited a cabin crew from around the world in a bid to improve the standard of service for international passengers. >> we've got cabin crew from 130 different countries. we're going to expand globally our footprint as seen in many parts of the world now. >> reporter: location has helped put dubai airport on the international map. operators are now spending huge sums to ensure it stays there. reporting for nhk world, dubai. it's time now for a check of
the weather. people in central europe are dealing with extreme heat. mai shoji gives us the latest. >> hello there. two major factors are creating extreme weather conditions across europe. one is the heat dome that's still prevailing over central locations and even poland. take a look at a video coming out from this region today. take a look at this. people are actually enjoying this hot weather, but they are experiencing exceptionally -- exceptional heat. temperatures exceeded 30 degrees celsius in western and southern poland on tuesday. people are hitting beaches and others are enjoying gold drinks to cool down, but the heat will be continuing today unfortunately. and finally going to be a relief in sight into your friday. looks like the temperatures will be dropping to the normal territories, but warsaw still looking at 28 and vienna hitting 35. that goes the same with prague on your wednesday. now, the other factor is this
system that's responsible for creating severe weather. this is due to this cold front that's sagging into france. we have a report of eight centimeters of diameter hail that struck parts of northern germany and about 3.5 centimeters in poland, so the normal locations in poland are seeing the very severe locations. this is due to that heat and clashing with the cooler air to the north making it a battle zone just across these areas. the highest risk for your wednesday will be from france stretching into germany. so there's going to be more risk of hail gusts as well as thunderstorms. thunderstorms also will be erupting across western locations of russia as well as ukraine, kiev, 23 degrees with chances of thunderstorms are finally clearing out on your wednesday in paris. 25 degrees. now, let's head over to the americas. this could actually be a sign of a very active tropical season in the pacific. it's likely to become a
tropical -- excuse me, a hurricane. it is now a tropical storm named christina. likely to move away from land masses. that's great news, but not directly hitting the land masses, however, indirectly it will be helping to assist to create rain clouds, scattered heavy rains of about 60 millimeters in an hour could target these areas. in fact, the previous tropical storm has caused flooding and people are still evacuated and left homeless, so it's not going to be alleviating the situation soon. high waves recurrence, these are something to be concerned of as well. we have a couple of storm systems to talk about across this continent. this was actually already creating a couple of tornadoes reported in indiana that's making its way to the mid-atlantic into your wednesday and also down towards the ohio river valley. another system's impacting northern plains, but this is likely to descend all the way down towards the central locations on wednesday. denver's already seeing the bulk
of that severe weather at 27 degrees and washington, d.c. will still likely see some thunderstorms. here with rain and thunderstorms across the southwestern islands of japan. about 40 millimeters fell in an hour. this is due to this system which was a tropical depression, which is not going to be intense tify but this will move up towards the region but we're still seeing risks of the rainfall of this much in an hour in lightning as well as tornadic activity more rain to be falling across the southeastern coast of china and the temperatures are as followed. we leave you now with your forecast.